Beach Protest in Fethiye!
When Kumburnu and Belceğiz public beaches, which was managed by MELSA (Muğla Handicrafts) Company before the local elections, have been transferred to MUÇEV Ltd Company with a protocol signed on May 28, 2014 by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization the Natural Heritage Preservation Board, the civil society organizations and tourism administrators in the region started protesting with the support of Fethiye Council. Mayor Saatçi indicated that Saklıkent Gorge was transferred to Seydikemer Council and said, “I would like to ask the authorities; Why do you adopt a different approach for Seydikemer? What is the reason? We would like to know our fault as Fethiye and Ölüdeniz.”
“This Double Standard is Unacceptable”
Fethiye Mayor Behçet Saatçi made a speech: “The reason we have gathered here is the search for justice against an unfair law. If there is a state in Turkey and if it is particularly a state of law, this double standard is unacceptable. Everything is not about money. We have these values. We should use the income here for our own values. Everyone should know that things cannot work with bids given secretly with a rush. The infrastructure and many other problems of our Ölüdeniz, the promotional object and diamond of Turkey, should be solved with our own incomes to be gained with our own values; however, it is impossible to understand this approach here.”
“If Saklıkent has been taken over by Seydikemer Council, why do you blame Fethiye?”
Mayor Behçet Saatçi explained that Saklıkent Gorge visited by hundreds of people every year was transferred to Seydikemer Council and stated, “I would like to ask the authorities: Why do you show a different approach for us than Seydikemer? What is the reason? We would like to know why you blame Fethiye and Ölüdeniz. This protest is not about politics, which can obviously be seen with the people gathered here already. This is a protest to search for justice. These values will be sustained until they are left to us. Ölüdeniz Platform is to organize another meeting on Kumburnu Beach at 05.00 p.m. on Sunday. I would like to invite the respectable people of Fethiye to claim their own values.”
“We Only Want the Beauties of Fethiye to be managed by the People of Fethiye”
Mayor Saatçi shared the reason of the incident with the press members: “Due to the metropolitan city law, the daily facility of Ölüdeniz which was run by Melsa Association before was transferred to an association named MUCEV. MUCEV put the facility out to tender. A company has won this tender. We do not have any problem with the company that won the tender. The problem is the attitude toward us. It does not have to be transferred to Fethiye Council. Ölüdeniz have many values. If we have these values in Ölüdeniz, this place was put out to tender and transferred to the companies in Ankara and Istanbul as if there was no company to take over and run these facilities. We have FETAV. Yet, we give our own values to others. Then we basically go to others for social taxes like we are begging and wait for them to support us to be able to go to fairs, send our students to trips and have new players for Fethiye football team. As the people of Fethiye, we stand as proud as Mount Babadağ and Mendos. All we want is the God given natural beauty to be run by the people of Fethiye. Otherwise, no one can expect anything. We will not ruin this good act with dirty politics.
“There is not even Sufficient Infrastructure in Ölüdeniz”
The civil society organization representatives attended the common press release and made assessments. Mümtaz Kökten, President of Ölüdeniz Tourism Development Cooperative, explained that there was infrastructure and water problem in Ölüdeniz and said, “We have many shortcomings in Ölüdeniz. We think the incomes of these beaches should remain in Ölüdeniz. We will continue our struggle for this.” Mehmet Soydemir, the President of Fethiye Chamber of Merchants and Craftsmen, stated that the natural wonder areas of Fethiye should remain in Fethiye. Soydemir explained Ölüdeniz did not have any infrastructure yet and the incomes of these facilities should be used for Fethiye.
“I Went to Muğla 5 Times for 50 Thousand TL”
Yavuz Torunoğulları, Fethiye Hoteliers Union President stated, “We all agree and support the speech of the Mr. Mayor 100 %. I used to be the president of Fethiye football team. I remember going to Muğla 5 times for 50 thousand TL. It is natural to manage the sources of Fethiye by the people of Fethiye.”
Mustafa Şıkman, Fethiye City Council President, explained the income of Saklıkent Gorge was given to Seydikemer Council and maintained, “If the councils are to take over the values of regions and if this is the rule, the natural beauties of Fethiye should be given to Fethiye Council. There is an obvious double standard and unfair situation here.”